Now that workers around the globe have had a taste of flexible work benefits, more than half (54 percent) of employees surveyed from around the world would consider leaving their job post-COVID-19 pandemic if they are not afforded some form of flexibility in where and when they work, according to the Ernst & Young 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey.

The survey finds that nine in ten employees want flexibility in where and when they work. Given the choice, more than half of employee respondents (54 percent) would choose flexibility in when they work. By comparison, 40 percent want flexibility in where they work. On average, employees would want to work between two and three days remotely after the pandemic. When pandemic restrictions ease in their countries, 22 percent would prefer to work full time in the office, with 33 percent of employee respondents saying they want a shorter working week altogether. More than half (67 percent) believe their productivity can be accurately measured irrespective of location.

Job Retention
The job roles most likely to move jobs include managers/leaders, those with technology or finance roles, and caregivers. Those most likely to stay in their current roles include baby boomers, individuals with 10+ years of tenure, and those in government or education roles. Attitudes to job retention differ by age, with millennials twice as likely as baby boomers to quit. Despite the apparent willingness to move jobs for more flexible working arrangements, most employee respondents (76 percent) say they are satisfied with their jobs, and almost all (93 percent) say they plan to stay in their current roles for the following 12 months.

Remote Working and Organisational Culture
The survey also canvassed attitudes to existing work practices, with employee respondents broadly positive about the impact of remote working. Almost half (48 percent) say their organizational culture has changed and improved during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, while only 31 percent believe it has worsened.

Health and Safety
The survey also explored employee respondents’ views on the COVID-19 vaccine and found that 61 percent want their company to make vaccination a pre-requisite for working from the office. Attitudes toward vaccinations vary between geographies, with 66 percent of respondents in South America agreeing that companies should require vaccination of all employees, compared with a comparative low of 52 percent in EMEIA.


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